DES MOINES, Iowa -- Marijuana for medical use is legal in 13 states. But, bills proposing legalization in Iowa have been continually shot down.
Iowa Senator Joe Bolkcom is pitching the idea again.
He has letters he's received from Iowans begging for relief from pain and nausea. Relief they believe will only come from marijuana.
"I've received email form a whole host of constituents and people around the state telling me their stories about the pain and suffering they go through on a regular basis and their desire to have some opportunity to address it," Bolkcom said.
Bolkcom wants to addressing it with a bill titled the "Medical Marijuana Act."
If the bill passes, a marijuana registry would be established. Identification cards would be passed out to those who have a qualifying medical conditions like - cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis C and Alzheimer's.
The bill also gives doctors the right to prescribe marijuana for severe pain, nausea, seizures, and any other condition approved by Iowa's health department.
"I just think it's time that Iowa look into this area of pain relief," Bolkcom said.
However, he said there are hurdles to overcome. The American Medical Association says more study of the use of medical marijuana is needed. Some doctors say marijuana is unnecessary because other, legal drugs are already available. And Marijuana is still seen as part of the war on drugs.
"I think there still some need to do education among policy makers and Iowans in general about the importance of this," Bolkcom said.
He'll have the opportunity tomorrow afternoon. A public meeting has been scheduled. It's in the Senate lobbyist lounge at 2:00 p.m.
By Amanda Lewis
March 9, 2009
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